President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear Alexander Grigorevich!
We are meeting once again meet and this certainly is a good sign: we are keeping our finger on the pulse, discussing all the topical issues in Russian-Belarusian relations, our alliance relations and major issues that concern the entire world today.
I think that during our working meeting we will discuss several important issues, including preparations for the session of the Supreme State Council of Russia and Belarus to be held before the end of the year. We will talk about boosting trade and economic relations, investment projects and, of course, about social issues.
And I think that we should certainly discuss the situation in financial markets because, as you know, on 15 November 2008 the Group of 20 will meet in America and talk about how to improve the architecture of international economic and financial relations.
I would absolutely like to discuss a joint position on this matter with our closest partners, with states such as Belarus. I think this is very important for the development of our bilateral relations.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko: Thank you Dmitry Anatolyevich!
I want to remind everyone present that already in Brest we agreed to meet and that we will meet again before the session of the Supreme State Council to determine the direction of our activities. Therefore we have already decided in which direction our relations will develop and the frequency of our meetings.
It is very important that we discuss the problems that have arisen in connection with the crisis. I must say that we watched with apprehension to see what we would have to deal with this time. And these issues are certainly very important for us, especially in light of the important problems that they have occasioned in the world.
I think that it is very important to give positive signals both within our relations (we with discussed this issue in Brest) and in the ways you mentioned – both within the government cabinet and in Belarus we have held meetings and discussed these issues. We think that it would be very good to see our cooperation develop in this way and would be understood by people in both Belarus and Russia. Therefore, it is very important. I think we will comment on results achieved after this meeting.
We will also discuss a number of ongoing problems that have arisen in the economies and financial sectors of both Russia and Belarus. Your vision is very important to us because we are very closely tied to Russia's economy and financial system. You know that almost half of Belarus' foreign exchange reserves are in Russian roubles.
Over the past two years we have consciously transferred to the Russian currency, abandoning the dollar when we started being pressured on all fronts. Therefore, I think that your experience and your council about where we should go are very important to us. And I think that we will also talk about a number of current issues that should not be left aside.
Thank you for having responded to my request to meet. Thank you for taking this time during your weekend because you have a busy schedule.
Dmitry Medvedev: We have no weekends, Alexander Grigorevich.